Breaking news from The Park! Just as i’d hoped expected, it didn’t take long before things got back to normal at the ol’ homestead. My niece, DQ, and her husband, BJ, are waging a war on crime – Trailer Park style!
While dealing with the difficulties of getting Mom discharged from the rehab facility last week, my niece was also dealing with a neighborhood crime spree. Two of their lawn mowers, as well as a pressure washer and a ladder, had disappeared from their garage. i was vaguely aware of this – during one phone call she mentioned that she was with the local police, while they were awaiting a search warrant for their neighbors house.
That morning, the neighbor had been caught red-handed by another neighbor stealing two lawnmowers. The police were summoned, and DQ and BJ realized that this could have been the fate of their belongings as well. Once the warrant was served, the police not only found a garage full of stolen goods, but a substantial amount of heroin as well.
The suspect was arrested, charged and then released after his mother posted bond. DQ, attempting to be neighborly, went by and told him and his mother that all they wanted was restitution – either return of the stolen items, or payment. His mother agreed to pay DQ and BJ $600 within a day.
After a few days, DQ and BJ were awakened on a Sunday morning to the sound of a lawnmower. Next door. Seems the suspect was out mowing his lawn, while their grass grew ever higher due to the absence of proper tools. Since no attempt at restitution had been made, it was time for drastic measures.
A 4′ x 8′ sign appeared*. Before putting it up, they contacted the police and zoning departments to avoid running afoul of the law. The amused officials determined this to be free speech, since charges against the suspect were public record. The sign went up.
Ladies and gentlemen, need i remind you that this is, in fact, a virtual Trailer Park? And such a bold challenge amounts to a declaration of war. The suspect retaliated shortly thereafter. Yukking it up in the front yard with his buddies, he soon put up his own “bold challenge”**.
His temporary retaliatory victory was short lived. Within an hour, an additional sign was posted on DQ and BJ’s front lawn. Oh, and this time they alerted the local media.
Media types descended upon the neighborhood like flies. Camera trucks, interviews with neighbors and a hoppin’ mad suspect caught on video storming into his house, yelling obscenities and empty threats of lawsuits. Thus far, it has been covered on two local television news stations, virtually every local radio station and is the talk of the town. Neighbors are dropping by, bringing beer, and it’s become quite festive. All are happy to be part of ridding the neighborhood of a thievin’ heroin addict! And there are many more reports of missing items coming forward as a result. The guy had been running a theft ring, has a criminal record a mile long, and is in general, a gnarly, bad man.***
Although they drive me batshit, it is at times like this when i absolutely adore my family. Never dull, these folks will tackle a challenge. Taking a stand, trying to do what’s right… And it makes me wonder – i believe my genuine delight in this “Smack Down” further highlights the duality of my nature. i am truly, one foot out of a Trailer Park. And sometimes, i really don’t mind…
* Notice the shiny silver thing in front of the sign? That would be a floodlight. Yes, this is highly visible 24 hours a day! BJ does good work.
** Note – this is after he’s been charged with multiple counts of theft. Certainly not going to win friends with the legal community with this stunt.
*** A twist to the story: The suspect is someone who grew up in the neighborhood when i lived there. He was the youngest of 3 juvenile delinquent boys, who lived with their mom a few streets away. My brother was the family ‘handyman’, and had to babysit these little terrors from time to time. One day, my brother brought home a guinea pig with a broken leg for us to take care of – seems the boys had been playing baseball with two guinea pigs given to them as pets. One died, and my brother saved the other from the same fate… There is a part of me that really enjoys seeing this son-of-a-bitch get some justice.